Anti-Immigrant Attacks in Staten Island

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Arizona immigration law, which goes into effect today, is shining a light on police interactions with immigrant populations around the country. Maria Hinojosa, host of Latino USA, and John Annese, reporter for the Staten Island Advance, discuss how the NYPD is surging into Staten Island after a wave of attacks on Mexicans.


John Annese and Maria Hinojosa

Comments [33]

g.e.Taylor from Bklyn., NY

Maybe apropos to nothing at all.

Aug. 03 2010 06:00 AM
Jake from Nassau County

@ JD from Brooklyn - Question for you, since you're obviously pro-Dream Act: Do the family of the Dream kids also get to stay ? Including the parents who broke the law and created this predicament in the first place ? What about aunts, uncles, cousins ?

Jul. 30 2010 11:43 AM

in our town mexicans and other nationals of other countries arranged mortgages for homes worth double and triple their real value, then borrowed against it to purchase homes in mexico and other spanish speaking countries. they are there now.

this describes 7 houses on our 10 house block. (and many other homes around here). incidentally, these are 100-140 year old victorian homes that generally were kept very well for most of their years and were the pride of our town. Today they are trashed.

Jul. 29 2010 09:35 PM
JD from Brooklyn, NY

About time that Brian Lehrer discusses immigrant issues in NYC. How about the hundreds and hundreds of young DREAM Act activists (many from NYC) that were in DC last week? How about the 21 undocumented students (some from NY) that were arrested while conducting a peaceful sit-in? How about covering the youth hunger strike in front of Schumer's office?
Come on Brian, let's get current with the news on immigration.

Jul. 29 2010 04:01 PM
JD from Brooklyn, NY

About time that Brian Lehrer discusses immigrant issues in NYC. How about the hundreds and hundreds of young DREAM Act activists (many from NYC) that were in DC last week? How about the 21 undocumented students (some from NY) that were arrested while conducting a peaceful sit-in? How about covering the youth hunger strike in front of Schumer's office?
Come on Brian, let's get current with the news on immigration.

Jul. 29 2010 04:00 PM
g.e.Taylor from Bklyn., NY

Well said Mr. Meyers.
Most of WNYC's presentations involving "race" and "ethnicity" are "one-sided and hysterical".
On "The Take-a-Way" they blithly talk about "guido" culture with an ease that raises a question about what informal synonyms they're privately using to refer to "rap" or "gangsta" culture.
On the other hand, Ms. Hinojosa seems quite comfortable with continuing the stereotype that non-hispanics are less interested in hard work than "her" people.

Jul. 29 2010 01:04 PM
Michael Meyers from Manhattan, New York

As usual, this brian Lehrer show was one-sided and hysterical in talking about "race", ethnic polarization, and undocumented immigration.

Linking Arizona's new immigration control law with suspected hate crimes (attacks on Mexicans) on Staten Island was such an irresponsible leap, but it was taken by the guests, especially Maria Hinojosa, and by Amy, the guest host, as well.

What evidence supports such thinking?
None was given. Yet, there was on this morning's show, once again, a "reporter" (the Latina host of Latino USA) replete with opinions and no evidence to back up her emotions about the subject matter.

Amy, the moderator, did not ask any intelligent questions seeking facts; she merely elicited and affirmed Marisa Hinojosa's feelings as an advocate and voice of the besieged "Latino" community.

Moreover, all that garbage that blacks would not do the work that undocumented "Hispanics" do is another unsupported claim, and it painted a distorted, stereotypical view about black laborers just as the guests and single caller depicted the black community on Staten Island as being repsonsible for the hate attacks on Mexicans there, and in effect accused the black community of harboring thugs who because of "their" being besieged, unemployed, poor, and angry (during the long hot summer, to paraphrase Maria Hinojosa) are supposedly assaulting Hispanics on Staten Island. This was an irresponsible claim at best, and feeds the errant nonsense that blacks, and Americans, are "anti-Hispanic". Just as abhorrent was the linking of strong sentiments on the part of Americans nationwide for immigration control and secure borders to anti-immigrant prejudice and "hate crimes" on Staten Island and elsewhere. That is such garbage.

The Brian Lehrer Show is one of the most nauseatingly paternalistic and knee-jerk programs on the air, especially and particularly when it comes to (inviting talking heads to) radio talk about race and ethnicity. The show is chronically one-sided in its decison mmaking as to who is and who isn't an "authentic" voice of the underclass minorities.

Give me a break! A station break, any kind of break from this paternalism and knee-jerk pabulum.

Michael Meyers
New York, New York

Jul. 29 2010 12:12 PM

Maria Hinojosa's daughter wants her to carry her passport at all times? Genius! Perhaps it's time for a national identity card that would be required for employment, and perhaps even mortgages on owner occupied homes, just like a social security number but with a picture. Try being 'undocumented' and getting a job in Europe. Impossible. Mexicans own property here and are pursuing the 'American Dream'? Try to purchase residential property in Mexico. Impossible for a US citizen.

Jul. 29 2010 12:01 PM
Mike from Inwood

Henry Escobar from Elizabeth NJ continues: "I'm getting sleeepy... but that's the real issue. What's the cause of immigration. Why are 'they' here..?"

WAKE UP, HENRY!! Time to stand in front of the home depot.

Jul. 29 2010 11:50 AM
Mike from Inwood

Leah claims: "Wages are not being depressed because of immigrant labor"

This is just false. When I was 20 in the late 1970s, all construction was done by US citizens. It provided a decent living; men could raise families and own homes on a construction worker's wages. Visit a construction site today. Many of the particular types of labor are performed almost exclusively by illegal immigrants employed by construction contractors. They sleep many people to a room, live on rice and beans, and are paid very little. While you are correct in saying the people on the bottom rungs have always been pitted against one another, illegal immigrants add a new dimension: Employers can blatently break the law and the workers have no arbiter to turn to for justice. Ask any worker how many times he hasn't received his last paycheck on the job because he's not required to show up again, a practice unheard of 35 years ago.

Jul. 29 2010 11:48 AM

Maybe it's time for the Vatican to step up to the plate and do the right thing about birth control in Spanish America.

Jul. 29 2010 11:24 AM

where is "Geraldo" he's a right wing fox news puppet.
he out making money. he is not his brothers keep!

Jul. 29 2010 11:23 AM
The Truth from Becky

If the topic is "anti-immigrant" laws, why does everyone keep saying Mexican?

Jul. 29 2010 11:14 AM
Cynthia Holden from New York City

I grew up in San Antonio. Even in the 1950s, San Antonio was a majority-Hispanic city. Mexican culture infused and enriched all aspects of city life. I'm Anglo but much of my identity is linked to the huge role Mexican culture and history played in my life and in the everyday activities of most of us, from the food we ate to the personality of the city.
Even so, there was tremendous discrimination against Mexicans and Mexican Americans by some in the Anglo community. My mother taught on the west side in a class with 100% Mexican students--the resources at her school were very inferior to those at my school.

In the southwest "American" culture is a blend of Anglo and Mexican.

And an observation: Because I am blonde and have blue eyes, I know it is extremely unlikely I will ever be asked for my papers.

Jul. 29 2010 11:04 AM
Nico from North Crown Heights

Good to see someone else on the same wavelength, Leah. Just want to second the reference to Barbara Ehrenreich. It's hard to find anyone else as clued in on these problems -- as they affect poor whites, poor blacks, and poor immigrants of color.

Jul. 29 2010 11:03 AM
The Truth from Becky

KATHLEEN, what do you mean where is Al Sharpton? Why not for Geraldo Rivera?

Jul. 29 2010 11:01 AM
JP from NJ

Americans won’t do this or that is a load of crap. This is a matter of employers exploiting Mexicans because they are willing to work for far less then what they should be getting paid. At the turn of the century mill owner after mill owner testified in front of congress that the industrial revolution would leave America if child labor became illegal. This is no different.
Mexicans are in a long line of a long history of workers being exploited by employers to increase profit.

Jul. 29 2010 11:00 AM
amalgam from Manhattan by day, NJ by night

@Henry Escobar - You're so right about the neoliberal form of economic globalization being the primary driver of contemporary immigration. This is not some recent development, but a decades-long concerted effort by corporatists and free-market fundamentalists - many of them, but certainly not exclusively, arch-conservatives and Republicans.

The major problem is that these "flows" are global in nature and rest on the fact that while many in the US (and world) want aspects of a global economy, most countries and their populations are feeling the pain of shifting patterns of work, training, and wages, without appropriate recourse, laws or programmatic economic/social security.

As has always been historical verity, down economies (like today) make now time for xenophobia, "nativism," and mistrust of others. It's sad, but there is a reason why economics - and the harsh yet concrete conditions that it abstractly describes - is called the "Dismal Science.”

Jul. 29 2010 11:00 AM

There is a long history of management, explicitly or implicitly, pitting folks on the "bottom rung" against each other. The race/draft riots in New York in the 1860s were the result of explosive tensions between Irish-Americans and recently liberated African-American labor; because bosses could exploit black labor and pay smaller wages, the Irish believed that African-Americans were stealing labor from them (the Irish, incidentally, had worked for very little when they initially immigrated, so they had been hated and stigmatized in part because they displaced other populations from work). Wages are not being depressed because of immigrant labor; rather, immigrant AND native populations are being exploited, and wages have been in steady decline since the 1950s (see also the rise of employer-sponsored healthcare as a proxy for wage growth and Barbara Ehrenreich's lucid explanation of the expansion of credit as a substitute for real wage increases). Economically depressed populations wrongly develop suspicions and hatred against one another, whereas their ire should more accurately be directed at profit-hungry management. When workers unite rather than compete, we can raise the quality of life for the lower and middle classes.

Jul. 29 2010 10:55 AM
Nico from North Crown Heights

Just about everything the caller from Staten Island said was right, and we need to take those facts about unemployment and lack of opportunity among lower-skilled blacks seriously. The caller's solution, "collective bargaining" is a good one -- but it needs to be *multiracial.* And it needs to include those undocumented Mexican immigrants. Give this underclass -- deserving members of this underclass -- legal status and everyone's situation gets better... well, except for those in the economy and politics who profit from exploitation.

Jul. 29 2010 10:54 AM
dboy from nyc

Wha??? Because the black community is poor and feels disenfranchised, it's o.k. to break someone's head???

That caller is offensive!

Get a clue!

Jul. 29 2010 10:49 AM

who hires these "illegals" why not fine these bosses??

Jul. 29 2010 10:48 AM

Jeez.... I'm an unemployed attorney, and I may have to take a job as a security guard. Get real. I have no doubt African Americans would take some of those jobs. Further, one of the reasons illegals are in those jobs is because they can then be paid lower wages and taken advantage of, and African Americans would insist on making minimum wage.

Jul. 29 2010 10:47 AM
Estela Lopez from White Plains



Jul. 29 2010 10:46 AM
jim from nj

1 in 5 construction jobs are now filled with undocumented illegal immigrants.
The guest wants to "talk" but she doesn't want to really talk. jobs riding bikes, bull, undocumented workers are depressing wages and they themselves are being exploited by not having a real visiting worker program in place.

Jul. 29 2010 10:45 AM
Julie Leininger Pycior

The jobs argument is mistaken. For starters:
a) every single union opposes the Arizona law.
b) economists say that immigrants here illegally do not affect the economic status of working class Americans on average (i.e., that the positive and negative factors cancel each other out.)

Jul. 29 2010 10:45 AM
kathleen from nyc

Where is Al Sharpton?? He was in Arizona, why isn't he is his own backyard fighting against this violence??

Jul. 29 2010 10:44 AM
LCruz from brooklyn

is it at all possible, that this is just plain racism at hand.

Jul. 29 2010 10:43 AM
Jake from Nassau County

We're supposed to feel bad because the guest's daughter reminded her to bring her ID ? Who travels anywhere without ID ?

Jul. 29 2010 10:42 AM

Uncontrolled immigration makes the rich richer, the poor poorer, and ALL Americans fatter. True or false?

Jul. 29 2010 10:39 AM
TK from NJ

Side note: Great song which addresses this topic.

Jul. 29 2010 10:38 AM

just for fun, let's turn SI into a forest again!

Jul. 29 2010 10:12 AM
Henry Escobar from Elizabeth NJ

Is evident that no one wants immigrants in "their" country. In other word, we rather have "tourists".

However, our foreign policy -historically-
is the solely responsible for 95% of the immigration
-in the case- of Latin America and other regions of the world.

I mean, even in the popular show 'Cash Cab' the host asked in a trivia question: Who was the secretary of state encharged of tailoring the CIA's plan to overthrow President Salvador Allende of Chile?

So just reviewing our foreign plicy -NEOLIBERALISM-, the "free trade agreements"
that Bush senior signed w/ Mexico, the Regan/Negroponte Iran-Contra affair -and recently the coup in Honduras like a deja vu w/ Negroponte AGAIN-, the invasion of Panama, Guatemala's banana-opression, The U.S. Salvadoran MASSACRE et cetera et cetera...

I'm getting sleeepy... but that's the real issue.
What's the cause of immigration. Why are 'they' here..?

Jul. 29 2010 09:49 AM

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